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British spy plane flies to Nigeria to help in search for abducted schoolgirls

May 19, 2014, 12:17 UTC+3
The British spy plane will support the effort of US aviation in the search and rescue operation
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© EPA/Cpl Laura Bibby (RAF) / MOD / HANDOUT
© EPA/Cpl Laura Bibby (RAF) / MOD / HANDOUT
© EPA/Cpl Laura Bibby (RAF) / MOD / HANDOUT
© EPA/Cpl Laura Bibby (RAF) / MOD / HANDOUT

LONDON, May 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Britain’s Royal Air Force spy plane Sentinel R1 has flown to Nigeria to aid in search for more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram extremists in April, the UK Foreign Office and Ministry of Defense said.

With 5 intelligence specialists onboard, the plane will fly over northern Nigeria to determine where extremists hold the abducted girls. The Sentinel R1 is capable of staying in the air at high altitudes for a long time.

Intelligence analysts will receive detailed 3D images of terrain from ground mapping radars. The specialists will scan the images for possible evidence and suspicious movements. Experts say similar technologies were widely used in Afghanistan. The data will be then passed to the Nigerian authorities.

The plane left its base at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire on Sunday. The Sentinel will be based in Accra, Ghana’s capital. The British spy plane will support the effort of US aviation in the search and rescue operation. Some reports say drones are also deployed in the search.

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